Lewis developed his unusual levels of breath control and volume from playing in local string and brass marching bands on the streets of Memphis. At the 1907 meeting Lewis introduced Cannon to the 13 year-old guitarist and singer, Ashley Thompson, with whom Lewis had been playing in the streets of Ripley and Memphis for some time and the three of them worked together over the next 20 years whenever Cannon was in Memphis, and not away working medicine and tent shows. When Will Shade's Memphis Jugband recorded and became popular in the late-1920s, Cannon added a coal-oil can on a rack round his neck and renamed the trio (Cannon, Lewis and Thompson) Cannon's Jug Stompers, and it was this line-up that recorded for the first time on Victor Records in Memphis on 30 January 1928. The songs from that session included "Minglewood Blues", "Springdale Blues", "Big Railroad Blues" and "Madison Street Rag".
By the time of the band's next recording on September 5, 1928, Cannon had replaced Ashley Thompson with Elijah Avery on banjo and guitar. However, by time of the band's third recording session, four days later, Avery had in turn been replaced with an old friend of Cannon's from the medicine and tent show circuit, the six string banjo player and guitarist, Hosea Woods, with the band's line-up remaining unchanged from then on. With the Jug Stompers, on "Viola Lee Blues", Lewis sang lead vocal and played a melancholy harmonica solo. Lewis recorded four solo tracks, and another four sides as the Noah Lewis Jug Band in 1930, the latter incorporating Sleepy John Estes (guitar) and Yank Rachell (mandolin). He died in poverty of gangrene brought on by frostbite in Ripley, Tennessee, in 1961. Lewis is buried in a cemetery near Nutbush, Tennessee. Read more on Last.fm.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more